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WBCA All-Star games canceled

Another all-star opportunity for local student-athletes has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020 Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Games, which had already been postponed from June 19-20 to Aug. 5-6 were officially canceled on Friday.

Gilman’s Grace Grunseth was a member of the girls Division 5 North team that was scheduled to play Wednesday, Aug. 5 at JustAGame Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells. Rib Lake’s Levi Ewan was on the boys Division 5 White team and Medford’s Ryan Brown was on the coaching staff of the Division 2 White team. Those teams were going to play on Thursday, Aug. 6.

“The safety of players, coaches, fans, referees, and staff is our utmost concern and priority,” Jerry Petitgoue said in the official announcement. Petitgoue, the legendary boys head coach at Cuba City High School is the executive director of the coaches association. “We realize that this is disappointing to the players, parents, coaches and fans, but we have a number of reasons for our decision other than safety, including: 1) ability for those in restricted areas to travel; 2) exposure for students who are going to college and may need to quarantine prior to leaving.”

Along with recognizing the best senior basketball players in the state, the games serve as a major fundraiser for Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer.

Annual all-star games with local representation have already been canceled in softball and football, though the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association is still planning to host an alternate event, a Senior Showcase, Aug. 3-4 in Wisconsin Dells. Local participants registered to play include Medford’s Rachel Mudgett in Division 2 and Gilman’s Montana Birkenholz, Lexi Chaplinski, Grace Grunseth, Jaiden Sedivy and Katie Webster in Division 5.